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Last hurrah for Middaugh at Road to the Roar

Sherry Middaugh makes a shot during Thursday afternoon’s game against Krista McCarville at the 2017 Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials curling event.
Sherry Middaugh makes a shot during Thursday afternoon’s game against Krista McCarville at the 2017 Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials curling event. - Jason Simmonds

Veteran skip says this is ‘probably’ her final run towards an Olympic berth

SUMMERSIDE – If this is indeed Sherry Middaugh’s last run towards an Olympic curling berth, the veteran skip is making the most of it – both on and off the ice.
Middaugh and her Ontario rink from the Coldwater and District Curling Club is tied with Kerri Einarson of the East St. Paul Curling Club in Manitoba atop the women’s Pool B standings at the 2017 Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials curling event at Eastlink Arena. Middaugh and Einarson will go head to head in Friday’s 8 a.m. draw.
“It’s nice to be here, knowing that with one or two wins tomorrow (Friday), we’re playoff-bound,” said Middaugh. “But it’s important, as you know, to get into the one-two spot.”
The top three teams in each seven-team pool will advance to the playoff round, with the top two teams receiving a double life. The playoffs begin on Saturday, and will determine the two men’s and women’s entries that will go on to the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifying event in Ottawa next month.
“You have to cherish those opportunities when they come,” said Middaugh, who executed on her hammer shot in the 10th end to count three and defeat Krista McCarville (2-2) of Thunder Bay, Ont., 7-5 on Thursday afternoon. McCarville’s final shot – a draw attempt – was heavy, which left Middaugh with an open hit.
It was the lone game of the day for Middaugh, who entered the Road to the Roar as the
No. 2 seed.
“We came in with a lot of pressure, but tried to not look at the big picture of the trials,” offered Middaugh. “It’s one game at a time.”

Experience
Middaugh and her rink of third stone Jo-Ann Rizzo, second stone Lee Merklinger, lead Leigh Armstrong, alternate Kim Tuck and coach Bob Turcotte have rented a house in the Borden-Carleton area. The schedule, which has included no evening games, has also allowed them to enjoy their new surroundings and some P.E.I. traditions.
Middaugh noted the team, along with sponsors and family members, enjoyed a lobster supper on Tuesday, they dined on seafood pasta on Wednesday and pork tenderloin was on Thursday night’s menu.
“We are comfortable and we’re loving it,” said Middaugh. “You have to enjoy it, it is the whole experience!”
Middaugh, who lost the 2013 Roar of the Rings final to Jennifer Jones, is no stranger to pressure-filled events, but she did acknowledge her competitive career is winding down. At 51 years of age, Middaugh confirmed this year, in all likelihood, will be her last shot at representing Canada in curling at the Olympics.
“It probably is because I am not ready to do another Olympic (four-year) cycle,” said Middaugh. “It’s hard, everyone has families, commitments. I’ve did and done it, and it will be nice to hang up the boots.
“I’m very pleased with how my career has gone, but there are regrets and disappointments. It’s been a fun run.”
One that Middaugh is hoping doesn’t end in Summerside this weekend!

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